Archive | October, 2013

Tasting Notes: The Poetry of Wine

26 Oct

Viñaoliva Zaleo wines

The St Andrews Food and Drink Festival 2013 will run from 2nd November to 1st December. This year three StAnza events will form part of this. The first on 15th November, Tasting Notes: The Poetry of Wine, offers an evening of poetry and wine tasting.

Matthew Stewart is both a wine exporter and blender for the Spanish cooperative winery  Viñaoliva  and also a poet. His entertaining Tasting Notes published by Fife’s HappenStance Press in 2012 combines his knowledge and experience of wine with his own poetry.  In an event which brings a real taste of Spain to St Andrews, Matthew will read from this collection during a guided tasting and talk about the blender’s art, giving an introduction to four Extremaduran wines. There will be time for interaction and questions, as he introduces the wine of poetry, and the poetry of wine.  Guests will have the chance to taste four Zaleo wines (Pardina 2012, Rosado 2012, Tempranillo 2012 and Premium 2010) and food pairings of ham, bread and Spanish cheese.

The event will take place on Friday 15th November from 6.30-8.00 pm at Luvians Ice Cream Parlour, 84 Market Street, St Andrews KY16n 9PA.  Tickets for the event, to include four wines, tapas and a copy of Tasting Notes, cost £7.50 or £5.00 concession and can be purchased in advance online by clicking on this link.

For more information, email

And watch this space for details coming soon on StAnza’s other events for the Food and Drink Festival, Surprise, Surprise, poetry and haggis with Alexander Hutchison and an open mic set for food and drink poems at Zest on 16th November, and our Delicious Poetry Workshop   with Gerry Cambridge on 26th November.





Poetry Illuminated

21 Oct

The Luminate Festival, a celebration of creative ageing, is taking place across Scotland this month. Last Sunday StAnza’s Festival Director, Eleanor Livingstone, was one of the judges at the second Luminate Slam in Edinburgh, and there’s plenty more poetry on offer elsewhere from Luminate over the coming week.

Next Tuesday in Edinburgh, poets from Grey Hen Press, which publishes women aged 50 and over, will be reading at 6pm Blackwells.

On Wednesday 23rd October, Jackie Kay, always a StAnza favourite, is in Fife reading at 7pm at Lochgelly Centre, with tickets priced £8.00 (concession £5). Jackie, whose portrait features in Joyce Gunn Cairns Creative Ageing exhibition, will introduce her work and reads extracts from her stories and poems which explore themes of ageing. Her selection includes passages from her most recent collection of short stories Reality Reality. Book at the venue, online at or call 01592 583303

And then on Thursday 24th October, there will be a midday reading at the Glasgow Women’s Library as a celebration of older women poets, including poems published by Grey Hen Press.

More information on all the events is available at the following links:

Paul Muldoon in St Andrews, 30th October 2013

15 Oct

Paul Muldoon Sometime the good news just gets better. Not only is Paul Muldoon coming to StAnza 2014 next March, later this month he will also visit the School of English at St Andrews University, of which he is an honorary professor, and he has agreed to give a public reading during his visit. This will be a wonderful taster for his festival appearance at StAnza 2014 in March, so we are delighted to be working with the School of English to promote their event.

Paul’s reading this month will be on Wednesday 30th October at 6.30pm in Parliament Hall, 66 South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9JP at 6.30pm.  This will be a free event but limited to the capacity of the venue so if you want to be sure of a place, then email to reserve a seat.  Doors will open at around 6.00pm and the event will last about an hour.

Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet now based in the US, one of the major poets writing today and we are delighted to be offering not one but two chances to hear him read in St Andrews.

More information about Paul’s events at StAnza 2014 will be available on our website at after 30th November.


John Burnside Masterclass

13 Oct

RSoc Lit


Dundee Literary Festival, 2013

7 Oct


Venture across the Tay for poetry aplenty at this year’s Dundee Literary Festival, 23-27 October. Read on for more about their poetry related programme.

Thursday 24th October, 12noon: Robert Alan Jamieson – Talking Poetry

Robert Alan Jamieson was born in 1958 in the crofting community of Sandness on Shetland. After publishing two novels (Soor Hearts and Thin Wealth) and a collection of poetry, Shoormal, during the 1980s, he studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh as a mature student, before taking up the William Soutar Fellowship in Perth (1993-96). He currently teaches on the Creative Writing course at Edinburgh University.

His most recent publications are the poetry collection, Nort Atlantik Drift (Luath, 2007) and Da Happie Laand, his epic ‘strange masterpiece’ from 2011. Here he talks to Dundee’s own Kirsty Gunn about his work with words.

Tickets: £3 / £2

Thursday 24th October, 1pm: A Poem and a Piece – Michael Hulse

Michael Hulse has won numerous awards for his poetry, and has earned the praise of Simon Armitage, C. K. Stead, the late Peter Porter and many others. His books of poetry include Knowing and Forgetting (1981), Propaganda (1985), Empires and Holy Lands (2002) and, most recently, The Secret History (2009). A new collection, Half-Life, is forthcoming. His best-selling anthology The Twentieth Century in Poetry (co-edited with Simon Rae, 2011) was described by The Guardian as ‘magnificent’. He has translated more than sixty books from the German, among them works by Goethe, Rilke, W. G. Sebald and Herta Müller

Tickets: £5 (includes lunch)

Thursday 24th October, 4pm: Michael Hulse – Found in Translation

‘A poet, I believe, is always stronger for having a genuine love of language, literatures, the visual arts, music, history, the natural world, and a wish to pursue substance rather than surface effect, and these requirements fire my own writing.’ Michael Hulse is a translator, teacher, editor, magazine publisher and critic, as well as a poet. He has translated titans of German literature – including Goethe, Rilke, Jakob Wassermann, Elfriede Jelinek, W. G. Sebald and Herta Müller – and championed the work of others through his editorship of literary magazines, such as Stand and The Warwick Review. In his event he will share his love of language and thoughts on the landscape of literature with Kirsty Gunn.


Tickets: £5 (includes lunch)




Friday 25th October, 9am: MLitt Showcase – MLitt Creative Writing Students

Now a regular part of the Dundee Festival Programme, Kirsty Gunn introduces the stars of Dundee’s unique degree in Writing Practice and Study. Hear the latest work by new poets and novelists just graduating from the course and discover what secrets they’ve picked up about the world of writing – from first drafts to presentation.

Tickets: free but ticketed




Friday 25th October, 12noon: A L Kennedy – On Writing

After six novels, five story collections, two books of non-fiction, and countless international prizes, A L Kennedy certainly has the authority to talk about the craft of writing books – it’s just a wonder she has found the time. These are missives from the authorial front line – urgent and vivid, full of the excitement, fury and frustration of trying to make thousands of words into a publishable book. Based around the hugely popular blog that Kennedy writes for The Guardian these pieces add up to the most intimate master-class imaginable giving readers and aspiring writers almost everything they need to know about the complexities of researching, writing and publishing fiction, all from one of the finest – and most humane – writers.

 Tickets: £3 / £2

 Friday 25th October, 1pm: A Poem and a Piece – Paula Jennings

Paula Jennings’s poems have been published in literary magazines, national newspapers, and anthologies. They have also been carved in stone by Gillian Forbes (Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh) and broadcast on Radio Scotland. Some notable reading venues have included StAnza and, most recently, Rosslyn Chapel. Her poetry has been described as ‘radiating intense awareness of what it means to be alive’. She has published two collections – Singing Lucifer (Onlywomen Press, 2002/2007) and From the Body of the Green Girl (HappenStance Press, 2008) – and is currently completing work on a third.

 Tickets: £5 (includes lunch)

 Saturday 26th October, 11am: The Gruffalo’s Wean – James Robertson

Has there ever been a more popular character than the Gruffalo? We’re pleased to be presenting a wee Scots twist on the stories as award winning author James Robertson reads from The Gruffalo’s Wean, the follow-up to the bestselling Gruffalo in Scots. There will be loads of fun, games and stories in the Scots language.

Tickets: free but ticketed

 Saturday 26th October, 1pm: A Poem and a Piece – Em Strang

Em Strang is a poet in her final year of a PhD in Creative Writing (Ecopoetry) at Glasgow University. She has published work in numerous anthologies and journals including Dark Mountain, Causeway, New Writing Scotland, and The Herald. She is currently working on a book of poems and illustrations with folk artist, Rima Staines. She lives in south west Scotland.

Tickets: £5 (includes lunch)




Sunday 27th October, 1pm: W.N. Herbert & Andy Jackson – A Poem and a Piece

Whaleback City: the Poetry of Dundee and its Hinterland is a unique anthology of poems inspired by the city of Dundee and its surroundings. In it you will find poems about the city, its history, its architecture and its landscape, spanning six centuries and distilling the spirit and temperament of its people, both celebrated and ordinary. Poets range from Sir Walter Scott and William McGonagall to contemporary voices such as Douglas Dunn and Don Paterson. The poems themselves speak of subjects as diverse as the Tay and its bridges, the Jute industry, Liz McColgan, the People’s Friend, Dens Road Market and a hundred other things that are uniquely Dundonian. Whether you love poetry or you love Dundee, this is a very special collection saluting Scotland’s most industrious and enterprising city, and today’s event invites you to hear more from editors W N Herbert and Andy Jackson.


Tickets: £5 (includes lunch)

 Sunday 27th October, 3pm: Andrew Greig & Jim Hutcheson – Poem After Poem, Wave Following Wave

Through music and poetry Andrew Greig recounts the tale of his open dinghy voyage from Stromness to Cava. By sailing small boats in scary open waters Andrew Greg found a new activity and a new metaphor for life. Written in six weeks, Found at Sea is a ‘very wee epic’ about sailing, male friendship and a voyage, performed here with musical accompaniment from Jim Hutcheson.

Tickets: £3 / £2

 How to book:

 Browse the programme on issuu or on the website

 Tickets are available:

• online at

• by calling 01382 384413

• or emailing

• in person on the 6th Floor, Tower Building at the University

• from Waterstones, Commercial Street

• from The Overgate Shopping Centre ticket booth, ground floor

• from Dundee Contemporary Arts, Nethergate


StAnza 2014 Headliners Announced

3 Oct

Paul Muldoon compressed (1) Multi-award winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon is to make his first ever appearance at StAnza as part of an exciting line up of world class poets confirmed today.

Our festival next year, which forms part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations, takes place from 5th to 9th March 2014 and will feature poets from across the commonwealth.  These include a welcome return of the UK’s first Scottish-born and first female poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, Indian poet and dancer, Forward Prize winner Tishani Doshi and St Andrews’ own John Burnside, one of only two poets to have won both the T S Eliot prize and the Forward poetry prize for the same book.

Among Paul Muldoon’s accolades are the TS Eliot prize, the Pulitzer prize, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and the Aspen prize.  He is poetry editor of the New Yorker magazine, and was described by the Times Literary Supplement as ‘the most significant English-language poet born since the second world war.’

Our themes for StAnza 2014 will be ‘A Common Wealth of Poetry’, celebrating poetry from across the Commonwealth in Scotland’s Year of Homecoming, and ‘Words Under Fire’, which looks at the poetic legacy of war in the centenary year of WW1.

Announcing the headlining poets, our Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone said:

“I am delighted to be able to confirm such an impressive line up of headlining poets for 2014. StAnza continues to attract some of the world’s leading poets who perform alongside emerging talent and those new to the poetry scene, giving the festival its dynamic and unique atmosphere.  We look forward to confirming more exciting performers and events over the coming months and to unveiling our full programme in late November.”

Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland 2014 Director said:  “In 2014, the year that Scotland welcomes the world, it is fitting that we support StAnza as it ties in perfectly with the Homecoming theme of celebrating creativity as well as our rich history and culture.  The charming town of St Andrews always provides a stunning backdrop for this vibrant and popular poetry festival, and I hope the exciting line-up announced today will encourage even more people to experience the festival next year.”

For a full list of headlining poets announced today, go to our website at

Carol Ann Duffy was appointed Britain’s poet laureate in May 2009.  She is the first woman, first Scot, and first openly LGBT person to hold the position.  She is currently professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her collections include Standing Female Nude (1985), winner of a Scottish Arts Council Award; Selling Manhattan (1987), which won a Somerset Maugham Award; Mean Time (1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award; and Rapture (2005), winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize.

Paul Muldoon was born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.  He has worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC in Belfast, as Professor of Poetry at Oxford, and is currently poetry editor of the New Yorker.  Since 1987 he has lived in the United States and is now Professor at Princeton University.

He has published several poetry collections and has been awarded the T S Eliot Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Griffin Prize, amongst others.

John Burnside was born in Fife and is one only two poets to have won both the T.S. Eliot prize and the Forward Poetry Prize for the same book (Black Cat Bone).  He is Professor in Creative Writing at St Andrews University.

His first collection of poetry, The Hoop, was published in 1988 and won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Other poetry collections include Common Knowledge(1991), Feast Days (1992), winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and The Asylum Dance (2000), winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award and shortlisted for both the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) and the T. S. Eliot Prize. The Light Trap (2001) was also shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. His poetry collection, The Good Neighbour (2005), was shortlisted for the 2005 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Collection). In 2008, he received a Cholmondeley Award.

Sujata Bhatt was born in Ahmedabad and brought up in Pune until 1968, when she emigrated to the United States with her family. She received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Asia) and the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award for her first collection Brunizem.  She has translated Gujarati poetry into English for the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary Indian Women Poets. Combining both Gujarati and English, Her poems have appeared in various journals in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Canada, and have been widely anthologised, as well as being broadcast on British, German, and Dutch radio. She now lives in Germany.

David Constantine was born in Lancashire.  He was until recently the co-editor of the literary journal Modern Poetry in Translation.  As well as poetry, short stories, and a novel, he has translated Hölderlin, Brecht, Goethe, Kleist, Michaux and Jaccottet.  He has been shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award and recently won the Frank O’Conner International Short Story Award, the first English writer to do so. His new collection, Elder, out from Bloodaxe in March 2014 will be launched at StAnza.

Tishani Doshi is an Indian poet, journalist and dancer.  She was born in Madras, India, to a Welsh mother and Gujarati father. Her first poetry collection, Countries of the Body, won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection.  She is also the recipient of an Eric Gregory award, the All-India Prize for her poem The Day We Went to the Sea.  Her most recent book of poetry, Everything Begins Elsewhere was published by Bloodaxe in 2012.

Brian Turner is an American poet, essayist, and professor. He won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley for his debut collection, Here, Bullet, the first of many awards and honours received for this collection of poems about his experience as a soldier in the Iraq War. Since then he has won a Lannan Literary Fellowship and NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship. His second collection, Phantom Noise, was shortlisted for the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize.

Born in Visalia, California, Turner taught English in South Korea for a year, and traveled to Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan.  He was an infantry team leader for a year in the Iraq War beginning November 2003, with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. In 1999 and 2000 he was with the 10th Mountain Division, deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Menna Elfyn is a Welsh language poet, playwright, columnist, and editor. She has published ten volumes of poetry and a dozen more of children’s books and anthologies. She has also written eight plays for stage, six radio plays for BBC, two plays for television as well as writing documentaries for television. In 2002 she was poet Laureate for the Children of Wales, and she also co-edited the Bloodaxe Book of Modern Welsh Poetry.

Ron Silliman is an American Poet.  He has written over 30 books and has had his poetry and criticism translated into 12 languages. He has worked as a political organizer, a lobbyist, an ethnographer, a newspaper editor, a director of development, and as the executive editor of the Socialist Review (US).  He has taught in the Graduate Creative Writing Programme at San Francisco State University, at the University of California at San Diego, and the New College of California.

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